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The Pawnshop (1916)

Charlie competes with his fellow shop assistant. He is fired by the pawnbroker and rehired. He nearly destroys everything in the shop and himself. He helps capture a burglar. He destroys a client's clock while examining it in detail.


Charles Chaplin


Charles Chaplin




Complete credited cast:
Charles Chaplin ... Pawnbroker's Assistant
Henry Bergman Henry Bergman ... Pawnbroker
Edna Purviance ... Pawnbroker's Daughter
John Rand ... Other Assistant
Albert Austin ... Client with Clock
Eric Campbell ... Crook
James T. Kelley James T. Kelley ... Old Bum (as James T Kelley)
Frank J. Coleman ... Policeman


Charlie, the not-so-punctual and dependable pawnbroker's assistant, starts his day with his usual duties at the pawnshop--a bit of dusting; some polishing up, and above all, a lot of quarrelling with his co-worker. Before long, a customer arrives--what a fabulous opportunity for Charlie to exhibit his subtle technical skills, and to give his critical scientific evaluation with the use of a rusty can-opener. Then, another client comes, eager to see the diamonds; however, could he be a wolf in sheep's clothing? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short


TV-G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


During an early scene, attention is drawn to the calendar on the pawnshop wall, which displays a date of Thursday, March 16. March 16 fell on a Thursday in 1916--the year this movie was made--and it is entirely possible that the scene in question was filmed on the actual date. See more »

Alternate Versions

Kino International distributes a set of videos containing all the 12 Mutual short films made by Chaplin in 1915 - 1917. They are presented by David Shepard, who copyrighted the versions in 1984, and has a music soundtrack composed and performed by Michael Mortilla who copyrighted his score in 1989. The running time of this film is 25 minutes. See more »


Featured in Chaplin's Goliath (1996) See more »

User Reviews

Pretty Good Chaplin Short Feature
19 July 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

"The Pawnshop" is a pretty good Charlie Chaplin comedy, with some routine stretches but also some very good slapstick. It features Charlie as an assistant in a pawnshop, engaged in a heated rivalry with another employee, trying to stay on the good side of the boss and the boss's pretty daughter, and occasionally waiting on a customer. The beginning has some very funny moments, with some slapstick that makes good use of the props, which include a feather duster and a ladder. There is a funny finale with Eric Campbell - one of Chaplin's best regular supporting players - playing a thief. The parts in between have some good moments, too, but they overdo it a bit with Charlie's fights with the other shop assistant. Overall, this is an average short feature for Chaplin, which means it is pretty good by most other standards.

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Official Sites:





None | English

Release Date:

2 October 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

At the Sign of the Dollar See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lone Star Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (restored)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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